How do Virtual Schools Help in Professional Development of Educators?
Teaching is a wonderful profession that provides tremendous potential and opportunities for teachers to truly make a difference in the lives of thousands of students all the while advancing their own career and knowledge. Today, technology is changing the face of education at a rapid pace. A UNESCO report estimates that over 1.5 billion students were affected by closure of educational institutions globally due to the coronavirus lockdown in the year 2020. At the time, how online teaching was going to revolutionize our ways of teaching and learning forever, would have been anyone’s guess. Today, we have all experienced the utility and effectiveness of virtual teaching firsthand. Schools and colleges are rapidly adopting technological tools such as institute ERP, smart classes, eLearning portals, attendance management system and likewise in order to enhance their productivity.
Even though there is still some debate over the effectiveness of virtual schools, online teaching sure has proved its mettle and stood the test of time when all else failed. The future of teaching is going to be online. This is why teaching online can be a smart choice as an educator, as along with various advantages of eLearning such as greater flexibility, scalability, affordability, engagement and likewise, it also helps in the professional development of teachers and makes them future ready. Here is how virtual schools today are helping in the professional development of educators and enabling them to scale new heights in their teaching career. So, without further ado, let’s dive in…
Transforms Educator’s Practice-
Research indicates that in a traditional teaching setup, teachers often follow the age-old approach to teaching over and over again. This not only prevents any possibility of professional growth for the educators but also makes learning monotonous for the students making them uninterested and disengaged with the class. With the advent of virtual schools, teachers have the opportunity to change a few things and work out new teaching methods for making learning fun and engaging for their students. The pedagogical strategies which work well in a traditional offline classroom are not the most effective when it comes to online teaching. As a result, educators have to experiment with newer and more effective pedagogical strategies which actually work in engaging and communicating with the students in a virtual classroom. Thus, virtual schools encourage educators to transform their teaching practice, thereby supporting their professional development.
Enhances Technological Skills-
The future of education is online. With technology disrupting virtually every sphere of human activity, it would be unwise to think otherwise. In order to boost their careers, educators need to get a handle on the technical side of teaching. This is where virtual schools can truly help in the professional development of educators, by providing them the opportunity to upskill themselves and enhance their technical skills by using technological tools for teaching the students in a virtual classroom. Thus, virtual classrooms help the educators in gaining greater technological prowess.
Helps Develop Creative Thinking-
Online courses are generally more dynamic and engaging which are geared towards providing students an active learning environment. Here, students play an equal part in their own learning as opposed to the traditional instruction-based mode of teaching where things are more or less set in stone. This type of teaching method encourages educators to think outside the box and use their creativity to support student learning in a better way. The best online teaching platforms provide teachers with the teaching tools and opportunities to devise innovative strategies and design engaging course content in order to ensure student success in the class.
Enables Educators to Develop Strong Communication Skills-
eLearning is still new for many teachers and students. In order to make this transition to virtual classrooms a smooth one, educators can help the students by communicating with them in a clear and friendly manner. In online teaching, educators spend more time and effort communicating with the students through various channels such as video conferencing, email, texts, phone calls and likewise. This helps in the professional development of educators by making them more adept at communicating with the students and their parents.
Virtual schools help in the professional development of educators in multiple ways and make them better suited at finding better jobs as an online educator. Thus, educators should certainly shift towards online teaching in order to keep pace with the changing landscape of education and give wings to their teaching career.